Grimes Offers to Split Royalties with AI-Generated Music Creators

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI)-generated art has created a stir across various industries, and while some have highlighted concerns around copyright infringement issues involving AI-generated art, not all artists are against the fusion of AI and their intellectual property.

One such artist is Canadian musician and producer Grimes. In a recent tweet, she announced that she would treat AI creators using her voice the same as other artists she collaborates with. Grimes wrote that she would want to “split 50% royalties on any successful AI-generated song” that uses her voice.

Grimes has no label and, therefore, “no bindings” to any major entity in the music industry that could cause intellectual property rights issues. The artist continued to say that she finds it “cool to be fused with a machine” and that she is in favor of open-sourcing art, ultimately “killing copyright.”

Grimes mentioned that she is “curious” about what creators can do with the technology and is “interested in being a Guinea pig.” In the initial tweet, Grimes posted an article on the recent outcry surrounding AI-generated tracks of Drake and the Weekend, which have been floating around the internet.

However, not everyone is on board with the idea of AI-generated art. On April 13, music industry giant Universal Music Group sent an email to all major streaming services to block AI from accessing its catalogs for learning purposes. The company said it won’t hesitate to do what is necessary to protect its rights and those of the artists it represents.

Despite the concerns, Grimes believes that the fusion of AI and music is the future. In a separate statement, she revealed that she is creating a voice simulation program along with a team of developers, which will be made publicly available. She sees the potential for AI-generated music to lead to new and exciting sounds that were previously impossible to create.

However, AI-generated deep fakes utilizing images and voices of individuals are already causing major headaches and ethical concerns. Recently, a German tabloid used AI to generate a fake interview with the former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. Concerns are even circulating within the companies producing the technology, after reports revealed Google employees’ worries over its forthcoming AI-chatbot.

The debate around AI-generated art and the implications it has for copyright and intellectual property is ongoing. While some are hesitant about its implications, others, like Grimes, are excited about the possibilities and are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this emerging technology.


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Latest Music Act to Launch a Social Token: Portugal. The Man

The band behind that “rebel just for kicks” song is doing a social token with Rally.

Portugal. The Man joins Christian vocal trio Selah on Rally’s “Creator Coin” platform. Competing platform Fyooz has also made headlines in recent weeks with the addition of tokens from rappers Lil Yachty and Lil Pump.

The Portland rock band’s PTM Coin represents the latest effort to tokenize fan engagement. Bands who can’t tour due to COVID-19 restrictions are turning to a crop of crypto startups to offer exclusive perks to fans willing to fork over fiat in support of their favorite artists.

“We want some kind of special level for our really hardcore fans,” bass player Zach Carothers told CoinDesk in an interview. “Since about 2017, we’ve been looking into something like this and just toying with the idea. And I think this forced downtime that we’ve been having has kind of given us the time to explore other options.”

Benefits include the launch of an audio archive for token holders featuring unreleased music as well as the ability to tune into exclusive live-streams. The band has also spun up a Discord server with over 1,100 users where much of the token activity will occur. The token goes live today, starting around $1 and fluctuating “based on the bonding curve and market demand following launch,” Rally co-founder Mahesh Vellanki said in a message.

“By giving these tokens to all their fans … they now have a vested interest in making the community even more successful, because they have a little bit of skin in the game, right?” Vellanki said in an interview. “That is kind of the beauty of this whole thing.”



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Lil Pump Is Doing a Social Token Called PumpCoin

“Gucci Gang” rapper Lil Pump is the latest celebrity to dip into the realm of social tokens with the listing of his “PumpCoin” on social money platform Fyooz.

The 20-year-old rapper appears to be following the Lil Yachty crypto playbook: a token sale on Fyooz and a subsequent non-fungible token (NFT) auction on the Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway.

Lil Pump, whose real name is Gazzy Garcia, is banking on his 25 million social media followers to take ownership of a “PumpCoin,” which, similar to a recent string of experiments with social tokens, will give fans exclusive access to the Colombian-American singer. 

“There has never been a greater need for artists and fans to find a new way of engaging given the lack of industry events from COVID-related shutdowns,” Remo Prinz, co-founder of the Zurich-based Fyooz, said in a statement. “Social tokens are a way for artists and other personalities to potentially monetize fan engagement.” Fyooz token sales are not open to U.S. investors.

The YachtyCoin sale last week raised at least $276,000 for the Atlanta-born rapper. Lil Yachty’s digital collectible sold for $16,050 this week to Bill Lee, a general partner at early-stage VC firm Craft Ventures who sniped the NFT from “bitcoin billionaire” Tyler Winklevoss at the last minute. 

This follows a trend of flashy NFT auctions by high-profile musicians. Canadian DJ Deadmau5 launched a series of digital collectibles this week, RAREZ, worth around $100,000. On Wednesday night, a piece of the collection named “In Titan’s Light” sold for 78 ETH ($50,039) on NFT platform SuperRare.



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